@BGOV will regularly feature background on the development of Bloomberg Government content from the analysts behind it. In a four-part series of in-depth studies, Bloomberg Government examines the environmental, economic and energy-security implications of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Here, analyst Jason Arvelo discusses the short-term construction jobs that the Keystone XL pipeline project may produce.

Thousands of workers will be employed building and burying a pipeline that would lessen U.S. dependency on Middle Eastern oil. Crude oil extracted from sands in Alberta, Canada, will be transported to refineries in the middle of America. Construction jobs will be created at a time when such positions are hard to come by.

The company is TransCanada. The year is 2008. The project is the Keystone Pipeline. But it very well could describe the circumstances in which TransCanada plans to expand its existing pipeline in a project known as Keystone XL.

President Barack Obama will determine if Keystone XL is in the national interest. That decision has been delayed to explore alternative pipeline routes. Existing plans show the XL pipeline crossing the Ogallala aquifer, which provides drinking water to millions and irrigates cropland.

Critical to the national interest determination, when it takes place, will be the quantity and quality of the jobs created by the pipeline. The Bloomberg Government Study “The Oil Sands Pipeline: Construction Jobs Impact” examines that issue by looking at the types of jobs created from the portion of the Keystone pipeline that broke ground in 2008. What’s past may be prologue.


Jason Arvelo is an economic analyst at Bloomberg Government. Before joining Bloomberg, he was a managing/senior analyst for Compass Lexecon, where he evaluated the economics of regulatory and legislative matters. Arvelo holds a master’s degree from Cornell University and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida.

Subscribers, log in to read more and see the impacts here.

To get access to this study and more, contact us.